Monday, March 5, 2012

Pecking Around (Woodpecker Style)

Acorn Woodpecker
Somedays, you just have to go with the flow.  Whatever Mother Nature presents; she presents....sometimes in abundance.  Today it was the entire Woodpecker I went with it.  There are many more out there, but here are the 3 common ones you'll find around Tucson, Madera Canyon, and Southern Arizona.
Arizona Woodpecker
Each one has unique markings. The Arizona Woodpecker was found off on the trails around Madera Canyon.  They worked in pairs of two and generally had a group of them in the same area on different trees. They tended to be more "shy".
The Acorn Woodpecker(above) was more "aggressive" and "independent".  I would usually see just one here and there.....but they were also everywhere and could be pushy sometimes with other birds:)
Look closely at the pic and you'll see two of them on the tree.  All woodpeckers like to listen to the tree and that's fun to watch.
I silently walk the trail and hear the "tap tap"....
I think it's a woodpecker but a party of Jays fly outta nowhere.  One leads the way and watches guard as the others settle into their areas.
I home in on the "tap tap" and find this Arizona Woodpecker(above) on the Arizona Madrone.
But that doesn't stop others from going onto the other various trees around the Madera Canyon area.
I listen and listen.  I hear a rustling in the leaves.  Is it another bird?  A new one I have not discovered?
No.  Just one of the many squirrels looking for food on the ground or in the trees.
The entire day I hike and all I see are woodpeckers......
.....eventually I leave the park after a nice 2 hour hike.
Gila Woodpecker
I arrive home and hear a "tap tap" on my Oak Tree.  I begin to laugh because I get the message.  Today was meant to be about Woodpeckers.  I just hadn't planned on it being about Woodpeckers.
I think this particular Gila Woodpecker has my favorite markings of the 3 woodpeckers presented today.  They're all very cool to watch and have around.  They aren't like the Green ones I've seen elsewhere but they are all fascinating.  What's your favorite of the 3 presented?  Acorn?  Arizona? or Gila?
Gila Woodpecker

And here is yet another common Woodpecker in Southern Arizona....the Ladderback Woodpecker!
So I lied...that's 4!  More tomorrow...:)


  1. Well that was a great day, lovely set of shots. Woodpeckers are always striking looking birds, Excellent.

  2. Woodpeckers are really gorgeous birds. We have 3 different types (i only knew of one before!)in our garden, the green-yellowish breasted one -whatever its name is- and the Lesser and Greater ones! They are all stunning but a bit of them was on one of the feeders trying to "drill" the cork (unless he was the smart one...trying to open the feeder!) hahaha!!

  3. Lovely serie of this woodpecker....good work Chris.

    Greetings and a nice monday,


  4. Beautiful post!
    Great shots of the woodpeckers and squirrel.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Great woodpecker photos Chris - I think I like the Gila woodie the best.

    I often find when birding that I fail to see a target species that I was hoping for but there are lots of other surprises and appearances birdwise!

  6. The acorn woodpecker is so cute, I have yet to see one in the wild. Around here I see camera-shy Gila woodpeckers and Ladderbacks. Great pictures!

  7. These are all new to me and I so enjoyed seeing them all. I'd have to say the Gila is my favorite. Love the markings across the back. Such a contrast to the head.

  8. Lovely shots. It's great you got so many nice looks and photos of the Arizona Woodpecker. I'm itching to go back and bird in Tucson for those local attractions.

  9. i've seen these pictured before, but was not familiar with the arizona woodpecker! thanks for these!

  10. I think my favorite is the Gila also, but I'm not too fond of any of them when they hang out on my hummingbird feeder. I love your shot of them "listening" to the tree.

  11. I love woodpeckers....thanks for sharing

  12. You have more woodpecker species there, than we do than here Chris. We just have Green, Great Spotted and Lesser Spotted ( there used to be four but one no longer breeds in UK)

    You did well to get 4 species on one trip out though :-)

  13. Those Acorn Woodpeckers are beautiful. Good capture of the Gila Woodpecker's tongue!

  14. wow!! what a lovely woodpecker day!!! the Gila woodpecker is gorgeous!! well, they ALL are...but i've never seen one like the Gila before.
    i can step out back...and hear the familiar 'tap tap' and if i'm lucky...will spot him before he takes off!
    love the gnarly wood the squirrel was on!!

    beautiful pictures!!

  15. Hello There, Since I've been away from blogging for a week, I have alot of catching up to do. We had a wonderful trip to Arkansas --but it's great to visit with my blog friends. Hope things are going well with you.

    Great pictures of your woodpeckers, Chris... We have different ones here---and I love watching them. Do you put out suet for your birds? Woodpeckers love the peanut suit...

    Thanks for sharing your birdies (and you can keep all of the squirrels)... ha ha


  16. Cool cool cool! All we ever see is the Gila woodpecker - how colorful the others are! Thanks, Chris!

  17. Awesome post on the woodpeckers. I love the woodies. The Acorn woodie is one of my favorites. But they are all very cool looking birds.

  18. The Gila Woodpeckers are hogging all the hummingbird food, thus my hummer population is down. Even the bully I call Sluggo is no match for those guys. Any suggestions?

  19. Hmmm....that's a great question. I recently have had a similiar issue with a visiting Verdin. He's tipping over the feeder and pouring the juice into his beak and it's getting my hummer very angry. I have to fill it up again today because the wind spilled a lot of it onto the ground today!! On tomorrow's post, I have a shot of an interesting woodpecker design. They put something on the bottom of birdfeeders to keep the woodpeckers from knocking over the birdseed and spilling the juice. They put something on the bottom of it so that the woodpecker can hang from below the feeder and they seem to do it. I liked that idea because the birdfeeder addressed how the bird likes to hang and resolved the issue of the spilling. Tomorrow is Wednesday:) HAHA.....I need this weekend to be here already.

  20. A feast for the eyes and soul! Your woodpeckers look different from ours. I can never pick favourites when it comes to birds :)


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